I think I may be called to the priesthood!
This is a problem. I am currently in the Merchant Navy and I cannot leave; I am obligated to remain in the Navy for three years; if I leave before then, I will be fined £3000. I enjoy my current job, but I feel such a strong pull towards the priesthood.
The only time I feel contentment is when I am in Church. When I visit Church, I feel such a calmness and peace that it is overwhelming; I feel engulfed in love and serenity. I feel the desire to attend Mass every day; and sometimes I wish I could live in the Church. The sense of peace I feel is so strong that I do not want to leave. I often wish that I could become a hermit and leave the cares of this world behind; I wish I could spend eternity contemplating the face of the Lord. I also feel such a strong desire to celebrate the Mass; I watch the priest at the Altar and my heart expands; I wish I could climb the mountain and converse with the Lord; I wish I could enter the Holy of Holies and be wrapped up in the love of the Blessed Trinity. I really admire priests and I often wish I could be counted among them.
However, I also want to have a wife and children. I love women and I do not know if I would be able to live a life of celibacy. I also think I would regret not having children because I am very paternal. I feel like I would be missing out on a lot if I did not have a family. I also imagine that the life of a priest would be very lonely at times. I may regret becoming a priest, but I would never regret having children. I really want a family but I also know that it is increasingly difficult to find a Catholic spouse these days.
I cannot leave the Merchant Navy to discern a vocation; I may leave the Navy and then discover that I am not called to the priesthood. I do not want to ruin my chances of having a good career to discern whether I may be called. I really don't know what to do. I have felt this call for years; I have deliberately pushed it away, but it remains as strong as ever.
What should I do?